With CAT’s annual conference fast approaching, programme organiser Tanya Hawkes gives us a taste of what’s in store.
100 Good Ideas: Making it Happen
The best thing about organising CAT’s lively annual conference is consolidating all that CAT does so well into one weekend. For two days staff, students, volunteers, CAT members and supporters and expert speakers from all round the UK and beyond, come together in this flourishing example of holistic environmental practice.
There are debates, films, dancing, presentations, children’s activities, wonderful food and friendships. It is a chance for CAT to show the latest in environmental research, technology and policy and for supporters of CAT to present their own environmental work in real life situations. We all learn from each other.
“Tremendous amount of knowledge in the staff; great to have this passed on to us. Just hope I can remember 10% of it!” Attendee 2016
Collaboration is key to making rapid decarbonisation a reality, and for the weekend of 6th-8th October, we’ll be hosting a range of speakers in transport, land use and food (we’re excited that this autumn sees the launch of CAT’s new MSc course in Sustainable Food and Natural Resources), energy and buildings, and housing. We’ll look at these four areas through the lens of politics, behaviour change and communications.
What can you expect at the CAT Conference this year?
On Friday we’ll welcome you from 3pm onwards, and you’ll have ample time to explore our beautiful visitor centre and organic woodlands and gardens. After enjoying a vegetarian buffet dinner you will hear from key CAT staff and get to know each other in the bar of the WISE building – an award winning example of low carbon architecture. We’ll then retire to our rooms in WISE or other sustainable buildings across the CAT site.
“Being inspired and motivated by meeting like-minded people. Learning some things that I can actually go home and do.” Attendee 2016
You’ll need a good sleep because Saturday will be a packed day. After breakfast, there will be keynote presentations from CAT staff and other experts – including Adrian Ramsay, our CEO, and Paul Allen, co-ordinator of Zero Carbon Britain – followed by interactive workshops and learning experiences, indoors and out.
You’ll be given plenty of choice about what type of sessions you’d like to participate in before you arrive at CAT and staff will be on hand all day to make sure you find your way around. After lunch we’ll hear feedback and presentations from CAT supporters on the amazing work they are doing around the country to help bring about a sustainable future.
The afternoon will be full of more workshops by CAT staff and other specialists, including sessions on creating urban sustainable transport systems, environmental solutions to the current housing crisis, how to grow food in small and urban spaces, ways to increase biodiversity, tours (including one with CAT’s woodland and wildlife experts), a global look at land and food solutions for countries in crisis, plus lots more.
You’ll be able to choose from a mixture of sessions that cover the latest in academic thinking, learn new practical skills, and contribute to lively discussion and debates. We’ll be screening and discussing extracts from the award winning film Demain (Tomorrow), as it showcases real life sustainable solutions from across the world.
“Superb. Best vegetarian food I’ve ever had.” Attendee 2016
Dinner will hopefully energise everyone for the traditional ceilidh, before getting ready for a Sunday of more workshops and sessions, including an insight into CAT’s future plans for those who are keen to know more about our work and strategy.
All weekend you’ll have a chance to meet experienced practitioners, CAT staff and supporters, and take in the magical atmosphere of this corner of Mid Wales – the disused slate quarry that became a living example of sustainability in action, and is now one of leading providers of higher education in sustainability, attracting participants and students from all over the world.
Do join us if you can – we’re really looking forward to seeing you!
Book your place
The conference takes place at CAT on the weekend of 6th to 8th October.
- Full price with full-board on-site accommodation: £200
- Conference with lunch, dinner and all activities, but organise your own off-site accommodation: £150
- Children (full-board and kids’ activities): £50
Children’s activities throughout the weekend will include crafts, experiments and outdoor adventures.